BET-AT-HOME OPEN - GERMAN TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012
Almagro, Monaco, Cilic Advance In Hamburg; Verdasco, Troicki Fall
by ATP Staff|
Top seed and returning finalist Nicolas Almagro opened with a 6-4, 6-1 win over German Tobias Kamke in the first round of the bet-at-home Open - German Tennis Championships 2012 on Tuesday in Hamburg.
The World No. 10, a runner-up last week in Bastad (l. to Ferrer), converted six of his 10 break points as Kamke managed to win just 37 per cent of his service points. Almagro will look to improve upon his 10-6 match record at this ATP World Tour 500 tournament when he next faces 2009 champion Nikolay Davydenko.
World No. 14 Juan Monaco bounced back from his defeat in last week’s MercedesCup final by overcoming another German, Cedrik-Marcel Stebe. The Argentine reeled off the final three games of the match to beat the No. 83-ranked Stebe 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in two hours and 41 minutes.
“It was very close,” stated Monaco. “It could’ve been for him. He served for the match, but I still fought all the time, every point, never gave up. Tennis is like this. You’re still there, you have a chance. He served to win, but he couldn’t. Then I had a chance.”
Monaco improved to a 27-10 match record on the season, with 20 of those victories coming on clay. The Tandil native won two titles at the VTR Open in Vina del Mar (d. Berlocq) and the US Men's Clay Court Championship (d. Isner) before losing out to Janko Tipsarevic in Stuttgart last week.
Fourth seed Marin Cilic recorded his 13th win in 14 matches as he dismissed Italian Flavio Cipolla 6-3, 6-4 in 89 minutes. The Croatian has won two of his past three tournaments, lifting the trophy on grass at the AEGON Championships in London (d. Nalbandian) and on clay at last week’s ATP Vegeta Croatia Open Umag (d. Granollers).
Seventh seed Florian Mayer reached the second round with a 7-6(7), 7-5 victory over Argentine qualifier Horacio Zeballos. The German broke serve six times to counter losing his own serve on five occasions and claimed victory in just under two hours. The 28-year-old Mayer is making his eighth appearance at this ATP World Tour 500 clay-court tournament. He was a semi-finalist in 2010 (l. to Golubev) and reached the quarter-finals last year (l. to Almagro).
Philipp Kohlschreiber, the No. 6 seed, joined his countryman in the second round as he rallied past fellow German Bjorn Phau 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 49 minutes. The 22nd-ranked Kohlschreiber, who has never advanced beyond the round of 16 in Hamburg, improved to a 4-0 record against Phau.
“It was not so easy,” admitted Kohlschreiber. “Bjorn is playing pretty well at the moment and it’s not so easy to change from grass to clay, but I think after losing the first set I raised my level. I got more control over the game and I think second and third set especially I played very solid and aggressive tennis.”
World No. 107 Lukas Rosol caused an upset as he ousted eighth-seeded Serb Viktor Troicki 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. The Czech, who was responsible for the shock of Wimbledon last month when he stunned Rafael Nadal in the second round, broke serve four times to beat the No. 31-ranked Troicki in just under two hours.
Another seed fell as German wild card Julian Reister upended fifth-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-3 in 65 minutes. World No. 483 Reister overcame a gap of 467 places in the South African Airways ATP Rankings to claim his first tour-level win of the season. He goes onto face France’s Jeremy Chardy, who dismissed Albert Montanes of Spain 6-4, 6-2 in 68 minutes.
Tommy Haas set a second-round clash with No. 2 seed Gilles Simon after beating Martin Klizan 6-2, 6-1 in 68 minutes. The 34-year-old German capitalised on a first-serve percentage of 44 per cent from Klizan to break serve on four occasions. He was a semi-finalist in Hamburg on his debut in 1997.
“It’s nice to be back here,” said Haas. “I haven’t been here in six years. Never really knew if I was going to come back here, so it’s a special moment for me. Being back on Centre Court, winning my first round match and being here are very important, very special. It’s a nice feeling.”